Ajay Kumar Nair is a student and writer from Chennai, India. His work has appeared in Isacoustic, Rattle, The Bangalore Review and Muse India among others.
Grey, & other inflammable objects
It’s Diwali & there’s a feast. Snake tablets grow
into black unwanted things, bitter molasses-like
statutory warning-like, visuals of oral cancer
& other burning birds. Conversation-like,
like conversations, louder words, smiles put on
bright rivals for the rocket clawing at the night
with its final breath. Its final breath a whistle.
Chakri, whistlingly, spins like an angry little galaxy.
On third street, a car honks before a 1000-wala
both strange to waiting-
All of this, of course, you cannot eat
the mound of plain steamed rice is golden brown now
the way you pour curd over it-
first the peak, then the fringes
& wait for them to meet.
The day after- newspaper bits blown off
ash & other grey feelings, & a sighing rain
sweeping everything away, dousing the lakshmis
the sparrows, Hercules Deluxes, Two Sounds
that rolled off, fell off, unlit into the grass.
Where two things meet
do you remember all the bodies you’ve entered
I remember the house my grandparents moved
around in & by the house I mean the place where
the gabled roof met the sky in a line so distinct
that kingfishers perched on it waiting – waiting
by the house – I mean the rain on me & the rain
I wanted to be – I mean my grandma, her bones
firewood, snake-gods in her name & thighs &
the girl for whom the sun rose – by the house
the day I had not slept but had waded with frogs
& fireflies inside those frogs, to see the girl for
whom the sun rose drag a fallen palm leaf – her
eyes which saw mine guiltless – anywhere the leaf
falls, wherever the sun is vision my eyes are citizen.